Liverpool could sign Bundesliga star dubbed the 'next Rio Ferdinand' if Jorg Schmadtke appointed
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Liverpool are reportedly close to appointing Jorg Schmadtke as their new sporting director - and he could help them to seal a huge summer signing.
The 59-year-old former goalkeeper left Wolfsburg in February after a four-and-a-half year stint, where he mainly focused on recruiting players under the age of 23.
Ward announced his departure from the club in November, with Liverpool launching a meticulous search to find his successor ahead of what is a crucial transfer window for the Reds.
Numerous additions are needed in midfield, while defensive areas may also be looked at as Klopp attempts to propel his side back to becoming title challengers next season.
And when it comes to defence, Schmadtke could use his previous contacts to sign a defender formerly linked with Arsenal.
Liverpool could sign 'next Rio Ferdinand'
One of the German's most impressive signings during his stint at Wolfsburg was that of Maxence Lacroix, a 23-year-old French centre-back.
In his first campaign at the club in 2020/21, he ranked second out of players in Europe's top five leagues under 21 for interceptions (as per WhoScored).
And his physicality and pace - he recorded the fourth-fastest sprint speed of any player in the Bundesliga in the same season - have resulted in the young defender being likened to Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand.
That is a comparison attributed to the Bundesliga's official website, which wrote in 2021: "A centre-back cut from the 'tall and lean' mould, rather than 'big and hulky' variety, Lacroix has a certain grace on the ball that is reminiscent of former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand in his prime.
"Similarly able to glide out of defence and pick a forward pass to a team-mate, his elegance masks a steely will to win and a healthy aggression."
He has endured a mixed season at Wolfsburg, falling out of Niko Kovac's starting XI, but has started seven of the last nine games as the club push for European qualification. His season is now over due to shoulder surgery, but Liverpool could certainly uncover his potential under Klopp's coaching.
Rated at €20 million by Transfermarkt, he would likely command a higher value in the transfer market - but with a new centre-back potentially on the agenda for Liverpool, it is certainly a deal that Schmadtke's contacts could help them pursue.